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. pretty cool, huh? >> and a little later what we can expect from first lady michelle obama in her second term. that and a christmas story that is bound to warm your heart. we begin with this live image from honolulu, hawaii where the president and first lady have just arrived. hundreds of hawaiians started gathering saturday to welcome the senator home and pay respects. inouye was a recipient for the medal of honor for his braver. kristen welker joins me now from honolulu. a warm christmas, i see. >> reporter: yes indeed. it is lovely here. >> the president is on christmas vacation and so is congress. that doesn't mean they don't have work to do as the fiscal cliff looms. i take it this is a working vacation. >> reporter: white house officials have described this as a working vacation and talks are going on behind the scenes between white house staffers and hill staffers. the reality is the bulk of this probably won't get done until after christmas when lawmakers are expected to resume negotiations. there is a lot of frustration especially among senior members in both parties in part bec
everyone some good here. >> that's right. on friday when president obama spoke to the nation before he left to come to hawaii he urged members of congress to take these days off during the holidays, to cool off and to gain some perspective. here's more of what president obama had to say. take a listen. >> so, as we leave town for a few days to be with our families for the holidays i hope it gives everybody some perspective. everybody can cool off. everybody can drink some eggnog, have some christmas cookies and sing some christmas carols, enjoy the company of loved ones. >> now the president also conceded that given the time crunch, there's probably not enough time to get a large deal done. so he really urged lawmakers to work together to at least get a deal that would prevent middle class americans and that lays the groundwork for deficit reduction and the president saying he remains hopeful that something can get done before the all-important january 1st deadline and i am told by sources at the white house that this will be a working vacation for the president. >> working in terms of what
that democrats are terrible because they took $716 billion from medicare for obama care and what do we want to do? pocket the cuts and add more. our chief demand is entitlement cuts. medicare and social security. >> talk about the debt ceiling and where this is played in to this conversation. that is coming up in february or supposed to come up in february. john boehner made the offer to take it off the table for a year but i want to show what lindsey graham has to say over the weekend on "meet the press." >> the big chance for a big deal is that the debt ceiling. that's when we'll have leverage to turn the country around, prevent it from becoming greece and save social security and medicare and to anybody listening to this program, i'll raise the debt ceiling only if we save medicare and social security from insolvency and prevent this country from becoming greece. >> prevent this country from becoming greece. what is your reaction to that? >> absolute and utter nonsense. this country is not becoming greece. this country -- this country, frankly, has a big unemployment problem. we have a deficit
. welcome to this special edition of "m schsnb"msnbc." as for president obama and john boehner, they are miles apart. neither are them talking about the deal the country really needs. kristin, we were talking yesterday that there's a possibility the president was considering coming back early perhaps thshould they strike a deal of some sort. >> i think it's likely president obama will cut his vacation short. we haven't gotten guidance about when that is going to happen. the white house is calling this a working vacation, but the reality is that talks are largely deadlocked over the fiscal cliff. there have been a few conversations going on at the staff level but really the expectation is that the hard work is going to get done when lawmakers return to washington after the christmas holiday, a little bit later on this week. that's when they're going to resume negotiations in earnest. of course there had been hopes that the president and house speaker john boehner were going to get a deal done. if you looked at the beginning of last week, they were getting close to a deal it appe
? then paradise lost. will president obama leave hawaii behind the day after christmas if a deal is in the works and the election hangover. new comments from one of mitt romney's sons that you might describe as puzzling. what do they really mean? and the gun battle rages on. new reports on why nothing may get done even after the sandy hook tragedy. >>> a massive tax hike and spending cuts -- republicans and democrats continue to point fingers in opposite directions, hinting that talks could go into the new year. >> are we going over the cliff? >> i believe we are, and i think the president is eager to go over the cliff for political purposes. he senses a victory at the bottom of the cliff. >> we only have nine days left here. when are we going to get serious about actual solutions? i would welcome john to tell me. he says he wants a solution. give us one, john. >> meanwhile, president obama is spending christmas in hawaii where he and the first lady attended the holiday memorial service for the late u.s. senator from daniel inouye. >> white house correspondent kristen welker. kristen, obviously
that every obama has tried to do. it's really over a tax increase, and for what? it's really to stop primary challenges. that's what this is all about. i mean, it's really bringing the country to a standstill for their own political short term. >> "new york times" is talking about the urgency issue in all of this, and lacking urgency that we have witnessed. they say, yeah, with days left before the fiscal punch lands, both sides are exhibiting little sense of urgency. rather than to foster progress. perry is that the biggest thing, the primaries moving out of this and how everything looks back? >> i think there are two things going on. the first is democrats generally feel they won a man dade. they're not backing down -- the second thing is the primary issue. you have members of congress say last week there was a proposal to raise taxes, and a lot of republicans said i can't vote for that, a million only tax increase. they were worried about primaries. that's driving this in a very strong way. >>> there are people in washington, d.c. that will tell us this is how it all happens. congressman
are looked at as why both sides -- for many it means blaming president obama, and investigating for -- for democrats, the cliff is better than setting a rich man's cutoff in the million dollar range or -- and slashing medicare and social security to appease republicans. this is really -- i know we cause it the cliff, i look at it. it's a clean slate for both sides in 2013, and to dig in in a modern approach. >> well, if that's a republican strategy to blame the president, good luck with that. polls aren't bearing that out. they're getting most of the blame right now. as far as a clean slate, the question is how do markets react after january 1st? i think that's what a lot of members and what the leadership looks at. to joy's point, i think what republicans have demonstrated is they are experts at saying no, and they are experts to saying no to things they have supported in the past. we're talking about a combined $2 trillion in cuts, protecting tax cuts for small businesses, reforming the debt limit so it doesn't continue to provide uncertainty to businesses. these are all thing
debate. president obama and his family are vacationing in hawaii and congress is on holiday recess. both sides are holding out hope that they will be able to reach a deal. >> this is something within our capacity to solve. it does not take this much work. we just have to do the right thing. >> of course, hope springs eternal and i know we have it in us to come together and do the right thing. >> listen to that, and it seems like they are both positive and feel something can get done. while both sides are away, the away and president in hawaii, can they get something done? >> reporter: well, look, richard, this will be a working vacation for president obama and i can also tell you that staffers on both sides of pennsylvania avenue will be in talks over the next several days despite the fact that they are technically on vacation. will they be able to get manage done that is significant over the next several days? probably not. but of course, lawmakers will head back to d.c. after the christmas holiday and resume negotiations again, and i expect we will see president obama cut his vacation
and the january deadline now just ten days away. president obama and his family are vacationing in hawaii and congress is on holiday recess after no new breakthrough and both sides are holding out and they'll be able to reach a deal. >> call me a hopeless optimist, but i actually still think we can get it done. >> of course, hope springs eternal and i know we have it in us to come together and to do the right thing. >> nbc's kristin welker is in hawaii and the president is still in talks while he's there or are the the talks on hiatus? >> richard, my sources tell me this is very much a working vacation for president obama and at this time there's no conversation between the president and congressional leaders and that doesn't mean that they're not going to happen. back in washington, d.c., staffers at the white house and on the hill are still there to some extent, communicating with each other and talking with each other, trying to get a deal going. it seemed earlier this week, richard, as though president obama and john boehner were getting close to some sort of a deal, a deal that would
roberts. topping the agenda today president obama mays malalo to hawaii and aloha to washington, d.c. heading back and we're now six days and counting until the country sees the business end of the economic brink and taxes going up for all americans. so far, there's been no call for the house to get back to the hill. senators return to the capitol tomorrow. the question remains krks the president join congress and surf the rough political waters to get a deal in time? >> i think he's doing all he can and calving hell at the same time and there's give, give. i think it's very, very difficult, particularly after boehner's plan "b" failed. >> the key issue i think and the american people are catching on is that the problem that we have is we have a right wing political figure in the house way, way, way out of touch of what the american people are thinking. >>> there's early economic sinls that the uncertainty over the cliff may have clayed the role of scrooge this holiday season. early holiday numbers point to the worst year to year growth since 2008. >>> i think the president is stew
. president obama made a lot of concessions to john boehner. a lot of liberals didn't like all the concessions he made. he limited the reach of the tax cut, changed the indexing of social security. he put that stuff in there to get republican votes. i think if john boehner -- and it would take courage, said we're going to let the whole housework its will, you can't pass a lot of reasonable bills if you worked from the center out instead of starting from the far right and see what they can take. it's clear they're not going to accept much of anything that might be helpful. >> red state was reporting 34 would bolt from the caucus. what's your thought here, e.j.? did the republicans do a disservice to themselves? >> absolutely. i think they took themselves out of the negotiation. in the end, the house has to approve something. you were mentioning that a deal could start in the senate. even if you get something through the senate, is it stalls has to pass the house. again it's john boehner taking a big political risk, but saying we're going to put together a coalition of republicans who want to go
obama, but the reality is that negotiations are largely deadlocked on all sides. there have been a few talks going on at the staff level, but the real bulk of this work is going to get done when lawmakers return to washington later this week after the christmas holiday and resume manageses. that's when we're going to see the focus really shift away from the house and on to the senate. of course, speaker boehner tried to get his plan b, alternative bill through the house. republicans rejected that, couldn't get enough votes for it. it was really a blow to speaker boehner. now we see the focus shift to the senate. senate majority leader harry reid, minority leader mitch mcconnell will try to hammer out a deal and by all accounts, it will be a smaller deal, thomas. >> nbc's kristen welker traveling with the president in hawaii. kristen, thanks so much. joining us to talk about the chances of reaching a deal, democratic congressman from minnesota, keith ellison. sir, it's good to have you here, and do you think, as you hear what kristen is reporting there, that it's -- that it's still opti
get through the house and senate, but i think president obama certainly has a role to play. remember, he is the one who ran on the platform. >>> you heard him map out on friday. he would like a scaled-back version of the grand bargain, something to prevent taxes going up, and also lay the groundwork potentially for deficit reduction in the future. i think you will see president obama cut his vacation short, and continue to play a role in those negotiations. richard. >>> kristin, over the weekend, he attended the funeral for the late senator inouye, who he has called an inspiration to him. what did you see in that service? >> well, more than 20 members of congress attended, mostly democrats, majority leader harry reid spoke and praised senator inouye for his partisan spirit, reaching across the aisle. of course in an earlier memorial service, the president called the late senator his earlier inspiration, on a a lot of members of congress came together to pay their respects. >> thank you, kristin. >>> if congress and the president fail to reach a deal, the impact is as unlikely as imme
Search Results 0 to 12 of about 13